House designs for wide blocks

by | Oct 31, 2023 | Floor plans, Home design

Interested in a block that is wider than it is deep? This is far from an uncommon situation, with many unusual blocks being bought, especially with the demand for land being sky-high at the moment. But what are some of the challenges that come with irregular blocks, and is it worth purchasing them? Let’s take a look at what you need to know about house designs for wide blocks.

What is considered a wide block of land?

Wide shallow blocks are blocks that are wider than they are deep. These are sometimes referred to as irregular blocks, especially if they don’t adhere to a traditional rectangular shape. They may present unique challenges such as when dealing with setbacks, construction or when adjusting floor plans.

What are the benefits of building on a wide block?

Though they may seem like a hassle at first, like any situation, with the right perspective a wide block might actually have a lot of benefits. Here are just some of the pros of building on wide blocks.

A lot of designs will still work on these blocks

Wide shallow blocks aren’t rare, and therefore, your builder will likely have worked on a similar space before. You can also hire a custom home builder (or bespoke builder) if you want more creative freedom over the design of your house. All the features you would want, from multiple bedrooms to alfresco areas to home theatres, are still possible on your irregular block. It’s usually nowhere near as limiting as people may think.

Flexibility with design

There are plenty of options to make the most of a narrow lot, whether it’s narrow in width or depth. If you’re looking to have more house area, double-storey house plans for wide and shallow blocks are quite common. However, you have plenty of options if you want to make a smaller home look larger. Some examples include embracing open plan living, allowing natural light into your home, and painting with lighter colours.

May be cheaper due to the irregular shape

Traditional blocks, or what people think of as normal, are usually rectangular and deeper than they are wide. As a whole, people are suspicious of anything that goes against the norm, and therefore they may be wary of purchasing a wide block. This means you may end up spending less for a block of land which is perfectly fine.

Can have a great street appeal

A wide frontage can potentially be used to your advantage as it provides a larger canvas for an impressive facade. A strong curb appeal not only makes your home build more impressive to your friends, but it can also be an excellent way to add value to your home.

What are the drawbacks of building on a wide block?

No block is going to suit everyone and some potential downsides to wide blocks may put you off. Here are some of the main cons of buying a wide block of land.

Setbacks could lead to less space

Setbacks from the street are usually stricter than any other part of the property. With a wider block, one of the largest boundaries of your block is facing the street which could theoretically lead to less building space depending on both the dimensions of the land and the home design you had in mind.

Fewer home designs are available

There won’t be as many pre-existing designs for you to choose from for a wide block.

Irregular blocks often have lower resale value

Anything considered odd or unique is going to be a more acquired taste. This can either work to your advantage or against it when it comes to property (or anything). If you find the right buyer, the fact you have something unusual works in your favour. However, until you find this ideal party, most of the public will likely only buy your block if it is cheaper than others.

Is a wide block of land more expensive to build on?

Beyond the price of the block of land itself, there’s nothing inherently more expensive about building on a wide block. The exception will be any changes you need to make to an existing home design to accommodate the dimensions of your block. To avoid this, choose a design suited for wider blocks.

Are there any specific council regulations that relate to building on wide blocks?

Wide and shallow blocks follow the same regulations as other blocks, with the key difference likely to concern the setbacks (how far you can build from the boundary). Every local council and even specific developments will have their own guidelines and rules, which are worth checking for a multitude of reasons.

What to look for in a wide block of land?

  • Location: We’ve all seen a story about a rundown house or weird-looking block selling for millions. The reason? Location is king. A great location (or even better, guessing what will become a great location) will be one of the biggest determinations in the value of a block of land. If you love the location, it may be worth adapting to a wide block.
  • Soil Condition: Along with location, your soil condition is the most important influence on the worth of your land. Always get an independent soil test on any block you’re considering buying, regardless of the location, shape or size. Poor soil conditions can make construction a nightmare, add thousands to your building costs, and cause issues for years to come.
  • Surrounding properties: An important thing to remember is you’re not just buying a block of land; you’re investing in a neighbourhood. Have a look at the state of other houses and blocks in the area to see whether this is the neighbourhood for you.
  • Research the area: There’s rarely a downside to doing your research. Look into whether there are any development plans for the area you’re buying in. If yes, how will they affect you and your property? A school could be convenient for your family and increase your house’s value. A sewerage plant on the other hand would be a big pile of unpleasantness.

Wide block home design pre-build consideration

  • Remember, the dimensions aren’t as potentially catastrophic as other factors, such as poor soil condition.
  • When searching for floor plans, look specifically for wide blocks or shallow blocks. Either that or talk directly to a builder for their advice.
  • When looking for a builder, talk to at least three and get a quote from each. This provides you with the opportunity to compare what’s on the market.
  • Make sure your finances and budget are in order. Talk to a financial advisor for guidance and advice.
  • Talk to a building broker – like Buildi – to get impartial advice on the best moves for you when building your new home.

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Building a Home

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Building a Home

Knockdown Rebuild

Home designs

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